Some 50 private hospitals yet to receive COVID allowance for health workers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 28 2022 11:46 AM | Updated as of Jun 28 2022 06:37 PM

Health workers stage a lunch break picket at the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center in Manila on Jan. 31, 2022. The group blast cutbacks in their COVID-19 benefits through the One COVID Allowance and called for a Php15,000 monthly special risk allowance (SRA) for all health workers. ABS-CBN News
Health workers stage a lunch break picket at the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center in Manila on Jan. 31, 2022. The group blast cutbacks in their COVID-19 benefits through the One COVID Allowance and called for a Php15,000 monthly special risk allowance (SRA) for all health workers. ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATED) - Some 50 private hospitals have yet to receive the One COVID Allowance (OCA) for their healthcare workers, a group said Tuesday.

Most of the hospitals submitted requirements in March or April, according to Dr. Jose Rene de Grano, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said private hospitals need to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the agency to enable its Centers for Health Development to transfer funds and for full accounting of any funds previously given. 

The DOH is now asking for liquidation of previous special risk allowances (SRAs), De Grano said. But the government "should give enough time for our hospitals to respond if there are any lacking documents," he said.

"They signed the MOU (memorandum of understanding) or MOA. They have given an attestation to the truthfulness of the documents. Hospitals are just waiting for the disbursement of this fund," De Grano told ANC's Headstart.

"They're saying we‘re amiss in submitting liquidation of previous SRAs we received before. This was not part of the requirements they told us before we applied for the OCA."

The government has yet to respond to the submission of documents of some 50, private hospitals, De Grano said.

"Until now there's no response from them. They told us we have to liquidate the previous SRAs. SRA 2 was given without liquidation of SRA1," he noted.

"Some hospitals were able to get their OCA after only a month of submission."

The PHAPI should communicate directly with the DOH and its CHDs, Health Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said Tuesday.

"We have already downloaded our funds to our Centers for Health Development. We ask for reports from our regional offices and the reports given to us would be the funds are ready but some of the hospitals not completed their MOAs, some of the hospitals have not liquidated funds previously given to them," she told reporters.

"Sana po makipagusap po kayo sa'min sa DOH at CHDs para magkakaintindihan po tayo. We cannot exchange our responses and queries through these media platforms."

(We hope you can talk to us here at the DOH and with our CHDs so we can understand each other.)

Private hospitals have observed an increase in COVID-19 cases but this has yet to raise the healthcare utilization rate, De Grano said.

Majority of COVID cases in hospitals were incidental or patients who came in to seek treatment for a different illness, he added.

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